Keywords

Gothic, Monk, Matthew Lewis, Ann Radcliffe, Italian, English Literature

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to determine how guilt and shame act as engines of social control in two Gothic narratives of the 1790s, how they tie into the terror and horror modes of the genre, and how they give rise to two distinct narrative models, one centered on punishment and the other on rehabilitation. The premise of the paper is that both Matthew G. Lewis's The Monk and Ann Radcliffe's The Italian harness radically different emotional responses, one that demands the punishment of the aberrant individual and the other that reveres the reformative power of domestic felicity. The purposes of both responses are to civilize readers and their respective representations of the Holy Office of the Inquisition are central to this process. I examine the role of the Inquisition in The Monk and contrast it with the depiction of the same institution in The Italian. Lewis's book subordinates the ecclesiastical world to the authority of the aristocracy and uses graphic scenes of torture to support conservative forms of social control based on shame. The Italian, on the other hand, depicted the Inquisition as a conspiratorial body that causes Radcliffe's protagonists, and by extension her readers, to question their complicity in oppressive systems of social control and look for alternative means to punishment. The result is a push toward rehabilitation that is socially progressive but questions the English Enlightenment's promotion of the carceral.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2007

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Oliver, Kathleen

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

English

Degree Program

English

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0001654

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0001654

Language

English

Release Date

May 2007

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2007; it will then be open access.

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